A couple of weeks ago, the dates of the 2014 Penn State football season ticket sale were announced. With the earliest of them coming up in less than a week (June 23, for seniors and graduate students), the question looms every year for the Penn State student: To get season tickets, or take the riskier approach and buy them on the ticket exchange?
As a current Penn State senior returning to Happy Valley for a fifth year of intensive studies (a victory lap, if you will), let me offer you some insight on the benefits and disadvantages of both purchasing season tickets or hitting snooze on that morning of ticket sales for the upcoming football season.
Before I do, allow me to clarify that I am a huge supporter of Penn State football. While saying that my enthusiasm for Penn State football games is unparalleled would be completely untrue (those Nittanyville campers really take their fandom to the #NextLevel), I look forward to every home game Saturday. Some of my best memories during my Penn State career thus far have occurred in Beaver Stadium. That being said, I confess that I have never purchased season tickets, and it’s worked out fine for me. Before you decide what route to take, consider the benefits to each side:
Purchasing Student Tickets
Purchasing student tickets is a simple, albeit stressful, couple minutes of your life to ensure that you can attend every home game. All one needs to do is to simply hop up off the bed with enough time to gather essential personal information and be ready when the clock strikes 7:00, make a celebratory Facebook status if you’re into that sort of thing, and go back to bed for a couple hours.
They make great birthday presents or graduation presents for those entering their freshman year, so I’ve known many friends who have had the $218 season ticket package funded by their family. For those games in which the season ticket holder cannot be in attendance, all they need to do is sell their ticket on the PSU Student Ticket Exchange to make a couple extra dollars.
Pro tip: Family members are a great resource for your season ticket sale day if you have trouble waking up or if you’re inconveniently located to purchase student tickets (ie: studying abroad for the summer in a place with terrible Internet connection. Shoutout Trastevere!). If your parents are early risers and love you but not enough to fund your season tickets, they could possibly love you enough to get your season tickets for you while you sleep!
If $218 isn’t an issue for you or whoever is funding your gameday shenanigans, being a season ticket holder also comes with added benefits, like the choice of what song to hear the Blue Band play at Beaver Stadium. Ow ow!
Not Purchasing Student Tickets
In the realm of short term benefits, not purchasing student tickets means sleeping in if you’re unemployed for the summer, which is cool too. Sleep is good, not purchasing student tickets means sleeping more, ergo not purchasing student tickets is good (for the time being).
At $218, student tickets are often a large dent in a college kid’s banking account. However, coming in at a little over $30 per game, there are loopholes around the system that could end up saving you money while attending most games.
Though stressful at times, refreshing the listings on the Student Ticket Exchange will find you tickets priced from $10 to $60. Furthermore, there is usually a handful of students who are willing to transfer their ticket over for you and ask for little money for the ticket.
Sometimes the weather sucks and you don’t realize it until game day and opt to watch the Nittany Lions from the comfort of your home. Sometimes the tailgate gets the best of you and the thought of standing in the sun for the next three hours is a bit overwhelming. If these days occur a few times out of the season for you, maybe season tickets aren’t the best move, considering you can’t sell tickets through Student Ticket Exchange on the day of the game.
Personally, I’ve traditionally skipped one game per season not including a game coinciding with Thanksgiving Break and used that Saturday to sleep in and watch the game from an indoor venue. Though I would end up spending over $50 on one game during the season (it’s been Ohio State or Michigan in the past), getting tickets from friends or Student Ticket Exchange for anywhere between free and $30 for the other home games has spared me some extra $$$. I’m quite proud to say I’ve spent less than $218 each football season, but that’s just me.
So, what choice will you make come the week of June 23rd?